Delta Covid variant is TWICE as likely to land patients in hospital


Delta Covid variant is TWICE as likely to land patients in hospital as well as being more infectious, study shows

  • Was already known that variant is up to 50 per cent more transmissible than previous dominant Alpha variant 
  • Is also 1.45 times more likely to see people needing emergency treatment
  • Those infected with Delta are 2.26 times more likely to be admitted to hospital 

The Delta variant doubles the risk of hospital admission, a study has found.

It was already known that the Covid strain first identified in India is up to 50 per cent more transmissible than the previous dominant Alpha variant, which emerged in Kent.

But the largest study to date comparing the two now shows those infected with the Delta strain are 2.26 times more likely to be admitted to hospital. 

Delta is also 1.45 times more likely to see people entering A&E needing emergency treatment. 

The Delta variant doubles the risk of hospital admission, a study has found 

Scientists claimed this is more proof that the same traits which make the variant spread faster also increase levels of the virus in those it infects, which results in them becoming more severely ill.

The authors of the study, led by Public Health England and Cambridge University, said their results should be used by hospitals to plan – especially in areas where the Delta variant is on the rise.

Dr Anne Presanis, a senior statistician at the university, said: ‘Our analysis highlights that in the absence of vaccination, any Delta outbreaks will impose a greater burden on healthcare than an Alpha epidemic.

‘Getting fully vaccinated is crucial for reducing an individual’s risk of symptomatic infection with Delta in the first place and, importantly, of reducing a Delta patient’s risk of severe illness and hospital admission.’  

It was already known that the Covid strain first identified in India is up to 50 per cent more transmissible than the previous dominant Alpha variant, which emerged in Kent

It was already known that the Covid strain first identified in India is up to 50 per cent more transmissible than the previous dominant Alpha variant, which emerged in Kent

But the largest study to date comparing the two now shows those infected with the Delta strain are 2.26 times more likely to be admitted to hospital. Above: Covid cases in South Korea are rising after the Delta variant reached the country. But the UK's number of infections is still much higher

But the largest study to date comparing the two now shows those infected with the Delta strain are 2.26 times more likely to be admitted to hospital. Above: Covid cases in South Korea are rising after the Delta variant reached the country. But the UK’s number of infections is still much higher

Commenting on the results, Dr Zania Stamataki, a viral immunologist at Birmingham University, said: ‘Taken together with previous studies showing that Delta is 50 per cent more infectious than Alpha, evidence mounts that we are dealing with a very dangerous variant.’

Some 74 per cent of the participants in the study – which was published in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases – were unvaccinated. 

But among the vaccinated – the vast majority of whom had only had one dose – those infected with the Delta variant may have had almost twice the risk of hospitalisation compared with those who had the Alpha variant.

But this figure is uncertain because there were too few vaccinated patients to provide a precise estimate.

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